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St Albans, Herts, United Kingdom, 2009/11/24 - The relationship between the business and the customer is the key to organisations emerging from the current economic crisis stronger and more successful believes Simon Rustom, managing director of the customer and change management company, CCL.
Customer Consulting Ltd (CCL)'s experience in recent months of helping organisations – drawn from a number of sectors of the economy – to be increasingly successful in the current harsh economic climate indicates that one of the keys to success is effective and efficient customer management. Moreover, argues Rustom, growing customer value is the way to combat increasing global competition.
Since customer management embraces the whole organisation; requires a view that transcends organisational boundaries; needs ‘top down’ leadership and culture change, and is a long term commitment, CCL recommends that customer management be seen – and treated - as a ‘main board’ issue.
“In addition,” Rustom said, “customer management strategy delivers against core shareholder value objectives: to build market share; increase profitability; grow revenue, and improve operating costs. That confirms that it is a main board issue and the concern of CEOs, FDs, CIOs and so on.
“Work with our clients across a range of sectors has shown that putting in place an effective customer management strategy is an extremely high value activity,” he continued.
“In many circumstances the return on investment (ROI) can be tens or even hundreds of millions of pounds. With several CCL clients, the business cases showed returns amounting to over £100m.
“An unprecedented shift of power to the customer means that, to remain competitive, companies need to optimise value from a range of interrelated ‘customer management’ disciplines: customer insight, value propositions, customer service, customer experience, relationship management, channel integration and so on,” Rustom explained.
“There is now evidence that neither piecemeal nor technology-led approaches to this issue have delivered value,” he continued. “To be successful requires strategic, organisational and operational elements to be aligned within a long term plan - and those operational elements comprise people and process as well as technology.
“Customer management maps out how core targets, as well as the brand promise and value propositions, will be delivered,” said Rustom.
“It is all about improving the customer interfaces and internal processes that lead to increased performance. It paves the way for cross-functional and cross-business cooperation and integration.
“It provides a powerful context to carry out development from the customer’s point of view and it articulates the required infrastructure, capabilities and culture needed to deliver all of these things.”
Rustom believes that many current customer management programmes fail because of inadequate customer strategy; adopting a piecemeal or un-sustained project approach; placing too great an emphasis on technology; inadequate implementation skills, and lack of flexibility, alignment and leadership.
Consequently, Rustom advocates a three step approach to customer management: ‘fixing the basics’ and defining strategy; embedding best practice, and then growing customers’ lifetime value to the organisation, enhancing brand value, matching investment with potential in marketing, sales and customer service while also reducing marketing, sales and operational costs.
CCL is currently implementing this three step approach to customer management in a number of organisations – with excellent and encouraging results so far.
For further details of this approach, contact Kathy Duxbury at CCL on +44 (0) 1908 441012 or email kathy.duxbury[.]customerconsulting.com.
About Customer Consulting Limited (CCL)
Customer Consulting Ltd (customerconsulting.com) is a specialist customer and change management company. It helps organisations to optimise their return on investment in customer management - especially contact centres and customer-orientated information and technology.
Its vision is to demonstrate that a best practice approach to customer management delivers sustainable business growth. CCL aims to deliver a combination of insight, intellect, wisdom and pragmatism - combined with a real understanding of people - to achieve commercial results that are beyond the norm. Using a joint project team approach, CCL offers advice and support to help companies develop and implement customer strategies that produce results.
With its 100 consultants averaging 20 years experience, CCL helps business leaders and their teams – including those at Aviva, BUPA, South West Trains and Orange – to activate their internal resources and ensure measurable success.